Notes on DVD player compatibility

The DVDs I master for The Color Bindery and By Hand Media, play on approximately 95% of set top DVD players, however, we can not guarantee them to work on every player on the market. That’s because early on, DVD players were made using competing technologies, including DVD+R and DVD-R compatible systems. These early models sometimes have issues with modern burned disc encoding.

DVD-Video Format: The type of DVD you would purchase from a store such as Blockbuster Video was recorded in the true DVD-Video format. This format is 100% compatible with all DVD players. To create the first digitally mastered disc in the DVD-Video format, the cost runs in the tens of thousands of dollars. Therefore, this format is only used for mass-produced DVDs. Companies such as PhotoActive must choose from other formats, know as DVD+R and DVD-R, where you can burn a single disc, if needed.

DVD+R and DVD-R Formats: Each of this formats are compatible with about 95% of DVD players manufactured since the year 2000. At PhotoActive, we use DVD-R discs, and very few customers experience compatibility problems with this format. However, there are occasions in which a customer has a compatibility problem (i.e., they can’t play the DVD+R formatted disc on their DVD player). In very rare cases, the only way to resolve a compatibility issue is to obtain a “firmware upgrade” from the manufacturer of your DVD player. A firmware upgrade is a CD that your DVD player will read to update the software inside in the DVD player so that it will be compatible. If there is no firmware upgrade available and your DVD player will not read a DVD-R formatted disc, you may need to buy a new DVD player (highly compatible DVD players can be readily found for as little as $40). However, such a situation is extremely rare.

Please be sure to test your DVD products as soon as you receive them.